Wipro to Acquire Oki's Wireless Chip Design Arm

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Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd. is selling its semiconductor design subsidiary to Indian outsourcer Wipro Ltd., preferring instead to have semiconductor design services delivered from a dedicated center set up by Wipro.

Wipro has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Oki Techno Centre Singapore Pte. Ltd (OTCS) and related intellectual property rights, Oki's wireless design subsidiary, Oki said Thursday. The companies expect to complete the transaction, for an undisclosed cash sum, in one month.

Wipro will establish a dedicated development center to offer wireless semiconductor and embedded software design services to Oki, said A. Vasudevan, vice president for Semiconductor and System Solutions in the Wipro Technologies Division of Wipro.

OTCS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oki focused on wireless design in the areas of RF (radio frequency) and baseband design. The company's design center in Singapore has 40 staff, and primarily caters to Oki's in-house requirements for semiconductor designs for its wireless communications equipment business, Vasudevan said.

In 2005, Wipro acquired NewLogic Technologies AG, a privately held Austrian semiconductor IP (intellectual property) and design services company, in its bid to increase its portfolio of semiconductor IP and design services. The acquisition brought to Wipro expertise and IP in the area of Bluetooth and wireless LANs (local area networks).

The acquisition of OTCS will bring to Wipro expertise in wireless communications, and IP in the area of digital TV, Ultra-wideband (UWB), and RFID (radio frequency ID), Vasudevan said. The acquisition will also give Wipro access to the Japanese market for outsourced semiconductor designs, he added.

Oki has been looking for a global partner to improve its efficiency in semiconductor design through outsourcing, as it focuses on improving its core designing capabilities, Oki said.

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